Our Core Distinctives
How is Christ Presbyterian different from other churches?
Below are some of our most important distinctives.
When we describe our theology as “catholic,” we are not referring to the Roman Catholic Church. The word “catholic” simply means “universal.” The theology of the Westminster Confession is “catholic” in that it reaffirms the doctrines held universally throughout the church of all times and places, such as the great ecumenical councils of the first millennium of Christian history. These great councils affirmed the Trinity, the deity of Christ, Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and other doctrines that are integral to historic Christian orthodoxy. Our theology is “evangelical” in that it affirms the “good news” recovered at the Protestant Reformation, of God’s amazing grace to sinners through the merit of Christ’s work on their behalf.
The Five Solas
The Bible is the sole written divine revelation that can alone bind the conscience of believers. Scripture alone is the sole authority for all matters of faith and practice, and the traditions of men must always be judged by this holy standard (Mk 7:8-13)
Justification is by faith alone. Sinners are declared “righteous” by God solely on the basis of the righteousness of Christ imputed to them and received through faith alone. This faith is not a work of human effort or merit. It is a gift of grace given by the Holy Spirit.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote saying “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8-9). In other words, salvation is a gift from start to finish. This is what makes grace so amazing!
Christ is the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed. Salvation is by God’s sovereign grace alone, through faith alone, on account of Christ alone. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (Jn 3:16).
Because our salvation was accomplished by Christ alone and was given to us by grace alone through faith alone, God alone should be praised honored and glorified. Therefore, in view of God’s mercies, we are called to present our bodies as living sacrifices, glorifying him not merely with our lips, but with our lives (Rom 12:1-2).